When it comes to travel in Ireland, a lot of it is off the beaten path.
After all, that is part of the charm of Ireland – the windy country roads, the small village pubs, the quaint bed and breakfasts. Ireland is a country to explore independently – with a rental car, bicycle, or even on foot. If you’ve been thinking of joining a tour group of Ireland, cancel your reservation, don’t even think about it. The best moments in Ireland are where you find yourself somewhere remarkably beautiful – and away from the crowds.
Since I moved to Ireland in 2008, I’ve gotten a chance to explore a good amount of the country. I promise one of these days to get around to writing a top 10 list of off the beaten path getaways in Ireland – but for tonight – I’ll start with just one. Many visitors to Ireland stop in Galway, the large city of the west coast. But just outside of the city there is the most fantastic wild landscapes that many travelers don’t get to see.
Of course, Galway is worth a visit. But especially as part of a larger tour of the rest of County Galway. One of the gems of the west is a tiny village called Roundstone. I first visited in the springtime, and was struck speechless by the white sandy beaches, aquamarine waters, and charming fishing harbor. After a spectacular dinner at Vaughan’s and a cozy night in Eldons Hotel – I wondered if I’d ever want to return to the city.
I couldn’t decide at the time what was more rewarding – the drive through Connemara to reach Roundstone, or the village itself. This tiny town in the West of Ireland can be a popular spot to visit during the short summer months, but visit any other time of year and you’ll have the entire town to yourself.